Legendary football coach Tom Landry once said, “I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.” He went through four losing seasons in a row in his first years with the Cowboys, but still had the attitude and determination to persevere and build a winning team. Being defeated is never easy, but if you can get through the pain of rejection or failure, you can always learn something from your experience. If you choose to think this way, that defeat can not only motivate you to get up and try again, but you can also evaluate what you might do differently and improve for next time.
After the Leafs lost game 7 of the first round of the playoffs in 2013 to Boston, a fan took out a full page ad in The Globe and Mail that said, “You lit a fire.” That fire is hope. Potential. Optimism. When the pain of defeat is raw it can be hard to put it behind you, but you can choose to use that experience – it wasn’t for nothing. Once you light that fire, it can’t be extinguished by one loss or setback. Keep going, learn from the experience, and keep the fire lit.
Game Plan: Give yourself time to feel the pain of a defeat, but then ask yourself if you can pull anything positive out of it. What can you change for next time, how can you let it motivate you? Remind yourself of the reasons why you’re on that path, reaching for that goal, and then put your energy into doing something to get right back on track.